According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country exported US$836 million worth of fruits and vegetables in the first quarter of 2020, a year-on-year decline of 10.9%. A decrease was seen in main products such as dragon fruit, banana, longan, watermelon, durian and shiitake.
China continued to take the lead in importing Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable with over US$300 million, down 29.4%compared to the same period last year. The sharp decline was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, other markets recorded slight year-on-year growth in January-March such as Indonesia with US$2.1 million compared to only US$164,800 in the same period in 2019, Thailand US$35.2 million as against US$7.6 million one year ago, Laos US$9.6 million compared to US$2.6 million last year, Russia US$8.2 million against US$2.4 million in the same period last year, and Cambodia US$885,300 from US$340,000 from one year ago.
Last year, fruit and vegetable exports lagged behind expectations, reaching only US$3.8 billion, a year-on-year drop of 1%. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2019 was a tough year for the sector. China, the country’s largest importer, tightened requirements for imports from Vietnam via strict quarantine measures and origin traceability.
However, growth was seen in shipments to several markets such as ASEAN (26.6%), the US (10.7%) and the European Union (32.2%).